The Antenna System of Photosystem II From Thermosynechococcus elongatus at 3.2 Å Resolution


The content and type of cofactors harboured in the Photosystem II core complex (PS IIcc) of the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus has been determined by biochemical and spectroscopic methods. 17 ± 1 chlorophyll a per pheophytin a and 0.25 β-carotene per chlorophyll a have been found in re-dissolved crystals of dimeric PS IIcc. The X-ray crystal structure of PS IIcc from Thermosynechococcus elongatus at 3.2 Å resolution clearly shows chlorophyll a molecules arranged in two layers close to the cytoplasmic and lumenal sides of the thylakoid membrane. Each of the cytoplasmic layers contains 9 chlorophyll a, whose positions and orientations are related by a local twofold rotation pseudo-C2 axis passing through the non-haem Fe2+. These chlorophyll a are arranged comparably to those in the antenna domains of PsaA and PsaB of cyanobacterial Photosystem I affirming an evolutionary relation. The chlorophyll a in the lumenal layer are less well conserved between Photosystems I and II and even between CP43 and CP47 with 4 chlorophyll a in the former and 7 in the latter.

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core complex


Chlorophyll a




electron transfer chain


light harvesting complex


Pheophytin a




primary quinone


secondary quinone


reversed phase chromatography

T. elongatus :

Thermosynechococcus elongatus


transmembrane α-helix


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Correspondence to Klaus-Dieter Irrgang.

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Loll, B., Kern, J., Zouni, A. et al. The Antenna System of Photosystem II From Thermosynechococcus elongatus at 3.2 Å Resolution. Photosynth Res 86, 175–184 (2005).

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  • antenna system
  • crystal structure
  • excitation energy transfer
  • Photosystem II
  • Thermosynechococcus elongatus
  • the antenna system of Photosystem II